Particle Board, MDF, Plywood: How to Select the Right One

Particle Board, MDF, Plywood: How to Select the Right One

W henever we think of remodeling our interior the first and foremost thing that comes to our mind is the furnishing. The furniture makes the vital part of the interior and when you are about to change them, here is a great option that could add style along with class and eco-friendly materials to your home. The environment consciousness and technology development has brought for you a brilliant replacement of hardwood furniture. Furniture around you today is mostly made out of particle board, MDF or plywood.

You would be eager to know about which particular type of raw material from the list could be more suitable for different utilities like roof designs, modular kitchens as well as office furniture. This article will give you an insight on the same and help you decide on the best option available in the market.

What is Particle Board?

Particle board is basically an engineered wood creation which is very fresh in the market. Particle board is mainly made by gluing and pressing together small chips and sawdust to form sheets or boards. It is one of the finest composite panel creations that consists of cellulosic particles of various shapes and sizes bonded together with synthetic binder and resin.

Why to & Why not to choose Particle board for your project?


Cheap: The main advantage that particle board has over solid wood or plywood is that it is very low on cost in comparison to them. Particleboard comes very less pressure on your pocket when compared with plywood furniture or furniture of similar dimensions.

Ready to use: One most adorable feature of particle board is that since it is machine made, you can get it into your desired sheets in desired dimensions. This is the reason why particle board is most favored to create mass-produced furniture. Following the elimination of any carpenter work in the production, the cost of the product gets lowered very easily. Since the products are ready to use, customers need not wait for delivery at all.

Boards are pre-laminated: When the particle boards are manufactured, they come with a thin coating of lamination. This lamination not only increases the durability but also enhance the look of the furniture. Such type of boards is called pre-laminated boards. One added advantage that these pre-laminated boards over the plywood that they are manufactured with lamination while production and the plywood require extra lamination from outside. Here the cost of the finished product gradually differs.

Lightweight: One reason why particle board is preferred among others is its light weight. This feature of this material makes it easy to move from one place to another and makes transportation easier. This might be an advantage for many but it has a disadvantage underlying as well. This makes the furniture less dense and less strong as well.


Not so strong: As mentioned in the last point, particle board is very lightweight and as it is made by gluing and pressing of wood particles it is a quiet week type of wood as compared to other products in the category. The product is less dense can easily get damaged while transferring from one place to another. Thos who shift their household frequently they should remember that this furniture may not survive the ordeal.

Low on durability: Moisture and humidity are two other factors which are serious enemies of the particle boards. Apart from being low on strength, particle boards are also highly affected by moisture and humidity as they swell up very fast. Most of the experienced furniture sellers also inform their customers about this quality of the particle board furniture before their buying.

Not for heavy loads: Particleboard furniture can never be used in places where they are subjected to heavy load pressures. They are very low on strength and can only be used for holding or in lightweight furniture like wardrobe walls and doors etc.

What is Medium Density Fibre (MDF)?

The Medium Density Fibre is a raw material that is widely used as a building material for many construction purposes. Much denser than plywood MDF is basically made from the breakdown of softwood and hardwood glued with resins and wax.

What are its qualities that can make up to your choice?


Less costly: As MDF is made from the breaking down of the hardwood it is less costly than plywood. It comes easily within the fraction of the cost of other real wood and plywood. Using MDF for some of your interior furniture you can easily manage your budget for your home interiors.

Good for designing: MDF in comparison to other raw materials is very smooth and can provide the best surface for paintings. Its edges can also be smoothened and crafted into different designs. It is a very versatile material in use and any choice of color by the user can easily be coated with this type of wood. The MDF has a very good binding capacity and can easily take up the different paints like varnishes, water, and oil-based paints.

Easy cutting and fitting: MDF has no knot of grain which makes it highly suited for cutting and fitting. You can easily drill and fix it anywhere of your choice.

Very easily glued: The biggest plus point of MDF is that very easily two pieces of MDF can be attached with wood glue and used. Nailing of pieces of MDF can also be very easily done. This flexibility makes it a good material for use in construction services.


Could split or crack: MDF is a weaker material in comparison to that of other real wood and plywood. Under a good stress, MDF has good chances of cracking or splitting when you try to install it. You need to be very sure about where you are using it so that it won’t fall or break off.

Less dense: Medium Density Fibreboard is less dense in comparison with real wood and so it requires a good number of nails to hold it properly while installation.

Soaks water: While choosing an MDF for your furnishings you need to note that it is just like a sponge and has a propensity to soak water and swell up easily.

MDF is not good for health: When the MDF is constructed it releases Formaldehyde which is highly dangerous for our body. It causes irritation to eyes and face in close contact with it. So it is necessary to wear masks while you are working with MDF.

What is Plywood?

One versatile kind of substitute for hardwood is the plywood. It is actually made from thin layers of wood veneers glued together. In fact, it is a kind of material.

When you are to plan for your interior furnishings, there are so many options available today you get utterly confused with. Here are some points of advantage and disadvantages of Plywood discussed to give you an idea about this raw material and help you decide for your furniture.

Things to note while choosing Plywood for your kitchen cabinets or furniture


Strong enough: Plywood made from strong wood is a very strong and durable raw material for manufacturing furniture. The grain pattern in plywood helps in maintaining the strength.

Helpful for interior and exterior furniture: Plywood is also available in two popular grades like MR grade which is the moisture resistant grade for interior furniture and the BWR grade which is the boiling water resistant grade for exterior furniture. You can easily use the cheap MR grade furniture for your bedroom or living room since the BWR grade plywood is costly to some extent.

Available in large sizes: In comparison to solid wood, plywood is available in a long sheet in the market of a measurement of about 18mm thick. This is one of the reasons why plywood is been so very famous in comparison to other hardwood options. You can easily use plywood for making any design of any length.

Economical: You can use the veneers of beauty looking Teakwood on the surface of the plywood while the inside could be composed of other strong but cheaper woods. This automatically brings down the cost in comparison to that of other hardwood.

Flexible Plywood: With innovation in this field as well, several interesting types of plywood has come up which also includes Flexible plywood. This can be easily rolled up or bent allowing easy application in different household furniture.

Durable raw material: The plywood that is made from hardwood furniture are quite durable and gives long years of service to you.

Cheaper than solid wood: if you have to give your furniture the look of a solid wood but cannot afford the high ranges, plywood is a good option for you.


MR grade plywood is damaged by water easily: Water is the greatest enemy for MR grade plywood. The players get easily separated by prolonged exposure to moisture.

Longer pieces may bend: Using longer pieces of plywood is common, but it comes with a common disadvantage of bending or swaging from the middle of it when used as front doors or wardrobe doors or benches etc.

Costly than particle board or MDF: Plywood comes costlier than particle board or block boards and MDF and also the carpenter charges get added to it.

The process of manufacturing is manual and time-consuming: The process of manufacturing furniture with plywood is more complicated as it involves joining of plywood sheets. This process is difficult than machine assembled MDF or particle board furniture.

Adhesive used are harmful: Previously urea formaldehyde consisting adhesive was used in the manufacturing of the plywood furniture which is considered to be very harmful ecologically. It is quite proven in creating harmful consequences to the environment.

Our Judgement:

With the more stress on environment-friendly materials everywhere, we can see more of things that are actually saving the environment surrounding us. Trees are getting lessened in numbers and the conservation of the ecology has become the need of the hour. All the three options like Plywood, particle board as well as MDF are quite eco-friendly but if you are looking for something more durable with a slight rise in your budget, then plywood is the one raw material that can stand perfectly to your expectations.

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